Last night reports and photos of Jessica Chastain standing next to co-stars from The Help began circulating under the oft-abused hashtag #TrueDetectiveSeason2, as a rumor surfaced via The Nerdist that Chastain had been offered the lead role in the anthology series’ second season. However, that prospect has been shot down just as quickly: E! News says that both HBO and reps for the actress say she’s definitely not involved, and The Wrap says that Chastain’s publicist concurs, offering a statement saying, “I can tell you she’s not doing this project officially.”
Of course, as The Wrap points out, this statement also creates some semantic ambiguity, leaving open the possibility that Chastain just hasn’t officially signed on yet—and thereby drawing a parallel to the writings of philosopher Gilbert Ryle, who criticized the “official doctrine” of mind/body dualism and its false dogma of the “ghost in the machine,” as it pertains to mental states being mysteriously separate from physical ones. For example, the illusion of there being a separation from mentally knowing you will star on an HBO show and physically signing a contract to star on one.
Could this obvious reference to Ryle’s “ghost in the machine” therefore be an allusion to what True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto said season two would be about—“hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system”? Is this statement from Chastain’s publicist therefore a clue that Chastain will be in the series—and does “the ghost in the machine” she’s so obviously referencing point to the show being about Chastain discovering the U.S. transportation system’s secret history of ghost bus drivers? I think we can all now safely say it’s a strong possibility.
Or, maybe Jessica Chastain just isn’t doing the show.